Central and North Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

A SO­PHIS­TI­CATED wool sub­sti­tu­tion racket with the po­ten­tial to dam­age re­la­tions with China – Aus­tralia’s big­gest wool mar­ket – has been un­cov­ered.

At least 18 bales of Aus­tralian wool, worth tens of thou­sands of dol­lars, have been seized at mills in China in re­cent months af­ter they ar­rived con­tain­ing wool vastly dif­fer­ent from that tested by au­thor­i­ties in Mel­bourne.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice al­lege the bales were tam­pered with some­where be­tween test­ing in Aus­tralia and un­pack­ing in China, with “high-value” fine wool stolen and re­placed with “sig­nif­i­cantly” lower-value prod­uct.

The al­leged scam, which comes amid record prices for Aus­tralian wool, has also thrown into ques­tion the in­tegrity of the na­tion’s wool han­dling and ex­port sys­tem.

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